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Bucket Truck Safety

By Expert Author: Bock Mary

Too often do I read articles where people are injured and even killed while using a bucket truck. Therefore, I have put together some guidelines that will help ensure that safety is the highest priority while operating a bucket truck.

Safety is highly important when using a bucket truck, and could mean life or death in some cases. Before going up in a bucket truck you should always do a “walk around” to ensure that you can do your job safely and properly.

Things to check BEFORE operating a bucket truck:

Are all tires and lug nuts in good condition?
Are the wheels chocked?
Are there any cracked welds, damaged control cables or wire harnesses, or hydraulic lines?
If stabilizers/outriggers are necessary – are they working properly?
Is the work area free of potholes, drop offs etc?
Is the work area free from debris?
Are the weather conditions safe to operate a bucket truck?
Are the fall protection tie off points in good condition?
Do all safety lights work properly?
Do all bucket and ground controls work properly?
Are all safety and motion alarms in working order?
Are there ANY loose or missing bolts, fasteners etc?
Is the bucket free of debris and dry? (no standing water)
Is the work area blocked off to prevent unauthorized people from interfering?

After doing the initial “walk around” there are still a few things to check on. A workers actions and/or lack of knowledge about bucket trucks can also have an effect on the safe operation of the device. It is very important to make sure that ALL operators are trained and qualified to operate the equipment.

Here are some basic guidelines to follow during the operation of a bucket truck:

All occupants of the bucket must have proper fall protection.
Do not use any device to extend working height, such as ladders, step stools etc.
Do not exceed the safe work load capacity (see owner’s manual)
Do not use the aerial lift as a crane or other lifting device unless it is designed to do so.
Never sit, stand, or lean on the side of the bucket.
Never exit the bucket when it is in the elevated position.

When used properly a bucket truck is a useful tool, but if safety is not the #1 priority, it can lead to serious injury, or even death.

Bock Mary is an associated editor of bucket trucks, which provides a huge inventory of digger derricks, pressure digger and related equipment to the utility construction industry. It provides both new and remanufactured utility truck units across the USA.

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